Lack of Concern Drives Wild Cats and Bornean Civet to Extinction

Borneo is home for many endemic carnivores, more than any other islands in Indonesia, comes second after Madagascar. Sadly, half of those carnivores are globally endangered. Among them are the Flat-headed Cat (Prionailurus planiceps), Otter Civet (Cynogale bennettii), Hose's Palm Civet (Hemigalus hosei), and Bornean Ferret Badger (Melogale everetti).

The Flat-headed Cat and Otter Civet dwell in lowlands and wetlands. "They are fish hunters, so they are in dire need of those types of habitats which -unfortunately- have been shrinking rapidly," said Andreas Wilting, a researcher from Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) on a press release received by PROFAUNA.

Fires in peat lands and lowlands pose a similarly dangerous impact for the carnivores.

Other endangered species, though only inhabit highlands, are Hose's Palm Civet and Bornean Ferret Badger. "These two only occur in Borneo, we cannot find them anywhere else in the world," explained John Mathai, a wildlife ecologist from Sarawak, Malaysia.

"Aside from habitat change, bush meat trade, and wildfires, other alarming issue for Bornean mammals is the lack of concern and information related to these species," added Mathai.

William Baya, Director of Wildlife Department of Sabah, added "We need a better synergy between researchers, the government, and conservationists to protect the carnivore diversity in the remaining forests of Borneo.

On a different occasion, Rustam, a researcher and professor at the Faculty of Forestry at Mulawarman University said, "This is a big challenge for researchers in Indonesia, because the data of carnivores in the Indonesian part of Borneo is very scarce."

"There are opportunities for collaborations, to collect more information about these species and protect them. That will also contribute to forest conservation in Borneo," concluded Rustam, who is also an activist of PROFAUNA.

© 2003 - ProFauna Indonesia

ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats